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McKinney started all 13 games in a third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC junior campaign, topping the Tide's defense with 95 tackles (5.5 for loss, three sacks) and finishing among the national leaders with four forced fumbles. He also intercepted three passes, broke up five others and blocked a kick. He burst onto the scene as a sophomore, grabbing the starting role in fall camp (73 tackles, six for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 15 starts). McKinney was named the Defensive MVP of the Orange Bowl with five tackles and four pass breakups against Oklahoma to send Alabama to the national title game. He returned an interception for a touchdown in both 2018 and '19. As a true freshman in 2017, McKinney played in 13 games as a reserve and on special teams (eight tackles, 1.5 for loss). The Roswell, Georgia, native was a top-50 overall prospect nationally after earning state Class 7A Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his senior season (82 tackles, seven interceptions, nine pass breakups). By Lance Zierlein NFL Analyst Draft Projection Round 1 NFL Comparison Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Overview Ascending safety prospect offering a combination of plus athleticism, field awareness and versatility. McKinney split time equally at slot, free safety and in the box and is accomplished in each. His coverage instincts, athleticism and quick-twitch burst are more cornerback than safety, which is why he's likely to be a coveted toy for teams looking to upgrade and diversify their sub-packages. He can sit in center field all day if needed, and he's an adequate open-field tackler but has room for improvement in that area. McKinney represents the new breed of versatile, matchup safety with high upside as an early starter. Strengths Known for high football IQ and field toughness Versatility to match up with every personnel grouping Plus burst with impressive change of direction in space Smooth backpedal with agile feet and fluid hips to weave with quarterback Adequate ball-tracking and poise when the ball goes up Speed for foot race over the top in Cover 1 Intent on deciphering the quarterback's eyes Anticipates and cuts under breaks looking for takeaways Recognizes route combinations and adjusts coverage accordingly Has instant burst to close and strikes with intent Uses length to clamp and roll as tackle finisher Takes smart angles into alley to clean up spillage Above-average blitz talent from mugged-up A-gap or off the slot Weaknesses Had three interceptions, but could, and should, have had three more Allows separation underneath when staring into the backfield Lost coverage leverage twice against South Carolina in two-deep Needs to recognize and navigate rub routes Small windows stay open when attempting to bait throws Got beat for touchdowns in 2019 when matched on big targets Allows receivers room when he's right there to squeeze Inconsistent gather and balance as open-field tackler Can lose tackle positioning when he becomes impatient